Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Las Vegas (or is it Lost Wages)

There I was, about two or three blog-posts ago, saying that I thought I should get my bills paid off so that I could start saving for a new pistol. That was before I heard my wife and daughter saying how great it would be to visit Las Vegas in the not too distant future. They want to get away from all this global warming here in the northeast USA. As I write, it is 13 degrees Fahrenheit, as per, yeah - lots of that global warming BS going around recently. 

Somehow today, I found myself looking for decent deals for just such a trip for them. I went upstairs to ask them a question, late this afternoon, and there was my daughter trying to plan the same trip. She let me do it! I got finished making reservations with Southwest Airlines not all that long ago. They will be going for 3 night stay in about a month or so. As could have been expected (and as I guess I well knew) - no husbands allowed. Nice to see them bonding but wishing I was going too.

Not a bad deal, just under $600 apiece for airfare and 3 nights at a 4 star hotel on the strip. Not like it was 10 or 15 years ago when you could get round trip airfare for about $80 but not bad by today's standards. I guess I will be stuck here walking the dogs and feeding the reptiles. Oh well, somebody has to do it.

Anyway, it now seems that the bills getting paid off and me saving for a new pistol will be delayed somewhat - unless of course the wife wins big and generously throws me a bone.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Loyal, Dedicated, Honorable and Fascinating Man Has Passed

I vaguely remember, but do recall, back in 1974 when the news broke about Hiroo Onoda finally surrendering to then Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. What makes a man surrendering to the authorities something memorable?  In this case is was that Mr. Onoda was a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII, an Intelligence officer to be more exact. In 1945, his superior officer ordered him to remain behind on Lubang Island in the Philippines to collect intelligence on the American forces there. Even though Japan had surrendered in that year, Onoda remained on the island and carried out his orders, he did so for 29 years after the end of the war. He was never deterred from doing so, he was loyal and dedicated to duty for all that time. He survived on Lubang, stealing food, and wearing his by then overly patched army uniform for all those years. Even though a few attempts had been made to tempt him out of the jungle, with his family members making pleas for him to surrender (Japan had flown his family to the island), he did not come out of hiding until subsequent to 'globe-trotter' set camp near his location and tempted him into his camp. That globe-trotter notified Japanese authorities who then flew Onoda's former commander to the island to give him an order to surrender on his 52nd birthday.

Imagine that, being so loyal to your country and dedicated to duty as to remain behind, virtually as the 'last man standing, against all odds and doing it for 29 years and then not thinking that you had made a mistake or wasted your time. If that is not fascinating, nothing is at all.

Now he is gone, dead at the age of 91. Read more about him here at Fox News and here at Wikipedia, the sources for the above. His story is pretty awe inspiring. I commend his actions, honor his memory and offer my condolences to his loved ones even though he was our enemy. There are not many men among all of us as honorable as he. Yet, he was not he last Japanese Army holdout. In December of 1974, only months after the surrender of Ondoa, Teruo Nakamura was captured on Morotai Island in Indonesia. Nakamura was the actual last man to serve the Japanese Imperial Army of WWII. He passed in 1979, only 5 years after his capture. Absolutely amazing.

All the best,
Glenn B

An Armscor TAC 1911 FS (.45ACP) Pistol Is In My Sights

It's been a long time since I made my most recent firearm's purchase. Most of the money that I have spent on firearms related purchases, over the past year, has gone to pay for ammunition. Now that the NY SAFE Act prevents me from making direct purchases of ammo from online dealers, I figure it may be time to shift the focus of what types of items I am targeting. A gun buy seems to be in my future; it is probably not going to happen very soon but also not in the way too distant future. I need to get some debts paid off and then after that, I will start saving for a new gun. One of the guns I have in mind, and I can assure you it is not merely because of the retail price of it, is the Armscor, Rock Island Armory, Tactical .45ACP pistol.

I only own a single 1911 pistol and have been thinking of getting another full sized 45 Auto. That this one is selling in some places, like GrabAGun, for only $409 (see this linked ad) is a definite plus but as I said, I am not just under the allure of its low cost. Other things that attract me to this pistol are the facts that it is an all steel pistol and that has some nice features usually found on higher end pistols. Those little extras include: an adjustable rear combat sight, snag free front sight, a Parkerized finish, skeletonized trigger, combat hammer, extended beavertail, ambidextrous safety, etc..

At first, while trying to get more info on this pistol at the Armscor USA website, I was a little confused. The advertised model, at GrabAGun does not exactly match any model shown on the actual Armscor website (at least as I write this) and it was very difficult to find info on the Armscor site for the same exact model number. I kept putting in the model number and coming up with no info for it. Differences in the advertised one and the one shown on the Armscor site under the designation of Armscor TAC 1911 FS (.45ACP) included the grips and the serrations on the slides but I finally did come up with a spec sheet of sorts, on the Armscor site, for the same exact model number.  The features as listed on the Armscor site can be seen here: Armscor TAC 1911 FS (.45ACP).

Then again, speaking of differing features of the TAC 1911 FS between that seen on GrabAGun's site to the one shown on Armscor's site, I should point out that the specs differ, from page to page within the Armscor website itself depending on what page you are viewing. The product info page for that model shows it with smooth wood grips but the disassembly and assembly videos on the Armscor site show it with new black rubber grips for 2013. Whatever that and other possible small differences may exist - I kind of, sort of, think I want one, especially at that advertised price or close to it.

I have liked Armscor ever since buying an Armscor Model 14Y, bolt action rifle several years ago. It is an inexpensive but high quality, youth rifle in .22LR hat has remained absolutely excellent despite a good deal of use over the years. If Armscor manufactures their pistols with as much quality as that little rifle, then they are likely a great buy. I figure, that within a few months of saving some cash, I should be able to find out first hand about whether or not the TAC 1911 FS (.45ACP) is high quality firearm or not.

Another note about Armscor, I find the disassembly and assembly videos that they provide on their website for these pistols to be a nice touch. It would have been even nicer had they used brighter lighting and gotten in closer on some shots and had Bubba (not his real name) gotten each step correct explained the first time around and used proper nomenclature other than his own made up parts names - such as his use of "the ambi" to describe the left side slide release lever in the disassembly video. That is nitpicking on my part though and nonetheless, I truly appreciate them posting those videos because they go a long way to help me better understand the workings of a 1911 pistol.

All the best,
Glenn B